It's finally here.
The New England Revolution begin their 2016 regular season slate today when they face the Houston Dynamo. With the bulk of the roster still intact, expectations are high for the Revolution. That said, there is one important question that still needs an answer: Who will score the goals? Let's take a look at our staff predictions.
Seth: Lee Nguyen
Nguyen was beaming with confidence during his time with the US National Team, which can only mean good things for the Revolution. More than a dynamic playmaker, Nguyen knows how to find the back of the net. We all remember his MVP-caliber 2014 when he chipped in 18 goals, but we should also recognize that five of his seven goals in 2015 came during the final third of the season. When Nguyen is hot, he's hot. I'm predicting another big year for the midfielder.
Nick: Charlie Davies
Davies, who figures to earn the lion's share of starts up top, represents a safe pick to repeat as the Revs' Golden Boot Winner. Through a handful of preseason matches, he looks polished and driven; he clearly showed up to camp in top form, as evidenced by his three-goal preseason campaign. After admitting to "working the week after the season ended" and spending "more time to get better," Chuck looks destined for a second-consecutive standout season.
If we're talking goals AND assists, it would be Nguyen. But the Golden Boot is the Revs' top scorer for 2016 and you have to go with the man who already has the prize. Davies scored 10 times last year for a team that wasn't exactly an offensive juggernaut. Consider the fact that they only netted 48 tallies as a team. Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe and Juan Agudelo all had seven. So, while the Revolution had a fairly balanced and multi-threat attack, it makes sense to pick the guy who plays closest to goal.
Also, Davies lead the team in efficiency, scoring his 10 goals on just 49 shots (4th most on the team), a conversion rate of just over 20%. Davies 26 shots on target was second only to Nguyen, who put 30 of his 82 total shots on frame, a scoring rate of 8.5%. With a few more scoring opportunities in 2016, and maybe a few more selfish looks towards goal, Davies should get back to double digits on the score sheet this season.